Mohair buying guide
Curly mohair as the name suggests has individual curls. On shorter fabric the appearance is more wavy whereas on long pile fabrics it becomes wispy.
Dense, straight mohair or alpaca has a smooth and uniform appearance. This gives a soft feel and is often used for fashion as in collars and stoles.
Distressed mohair has a 'bad hair day' look with the pile going in all directions. Great for 'scruffy' bears.
Sparse mohair is one with a lower density of pile fibres. This allows you to see through to the woven cotton backing cloth, especially when the pile length is short.
Ratinee is a sparse mohair which has been curled and then matted. This gives the strands and the fabric a felted, antique appearance. Most of our ratinees have a darker colour backing which provides an interesting contrast to the pile.
Whirl is a finish which gives a softer distressed look with soft swirls going in different directions.
String mohair is unfinished and unopened, otherwise known as loomstate. It has not been dyed or bleached so is perfect for hand dyeing and hand finishing.
Tipped mohair is a two colour dyeing process with one colour on the base of the pile and a different colour on the ends. All the above finishes can be plain dyed or tipped.
A short pile - say up to 9mm - is best for miniature bears. Small and medium sized bears are usually made with 10mm to 20mm pile fabrics. Large bears look good with any pile length up to 52mm.
Colour is obviously a matter of personal choice and most of our colours are those most popular with makers of traditional bears. Our natural mohairs are great for those wanting to experiment with hand-dyeing. The woven cotton backing takes dye in a different way to the mohair or alpaca pile fabric so some interesting results can be achieved.
Our mohair is cut to take advantage of the lay of the pile. This avoids wastage and inconsistent pile direction on the finished bear. Most bear patterns are designed to take advantage of this cut. Approximate dimensions are as follows -
- 1/8 (fat eighth) is 50cm x 35cm
- 1/4 (fat quarter) is 50cm x 70cm
- 1/2 (fat half) is 100cm x 70cm
- 1 metre piece is 100cm x 140cm wide
A fat quarter is usually sufficient to make one 15 inch bear or two 9 inch bears.